As my colleague Dan Eggen points out this morning, Gov. Rick Perry (Tex.), a Republican presidential candidate, was the first governor to mandate HPV vaccinations for young girls. The other contenders certainly aren’t letting him forget that. “I’m offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn’t have a choice,” snapped Michele Bachmann at last night’s GOP debate.
But perhaps Perry was simply before his time: Across the country, 2007 was actually a turning point for legislation that requires, encourages or funds HPV vaccinations. Forty-two states considered HPV vaccination legislation in the 2006-2007 legislative session, and 20 passed laws, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Among them? Bachmann’s own Minnesota.